Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
[The Great Controversy pp 549>550] Commenting on the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes, that the dead know not anything, the reformer says: “Another proof that the dead are insensible. Solomon thinks therefore, that the dead are altogether asleep, and think of nothing. They lie, not reckoning days or years, but when awakened, will seem to themselves to have slept scarcely a moment.” Nowhere in the Sacred Scriptures is found the statement that the righteous go to their reward or the wicked to their punishment at death. The patriarchs and prophets have left no such assurance. Christ and his apostles have given no hint of it.
The Bible clearly teaches that the dead do not go immediately to Heaven. They are represented as sleeping until the resurrection. [1 Thessalonians 4:14; Job 14:10-12.] In the very day when the silver cord is loosed and the golden bowl broken, [Ecclesiastes 12:6.] man's thoughts perish. They that go down to the grave are in silence. They know no more of anything that is done under the sun. [Job 14:21.] Blessed rest for the weary righteous! Time, be it long or short, is but a moment to them. They sleep, they are awakened by the trump of God to a glorious immortality.
“For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible.... So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” [1 Corinthians 15:52-55.] As they are called forth from their deep slumber, they begin to think just where they ceased. The last sensation was the pang of death, the last thought that they were falling beneath the power of the grave. When they arise from the tomb, their first glad thought will be echoed in the triumphal shout, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” [1 Corinthians 15:52-55.]
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
May God add His blessing to the study of His word. “Good night” and God bless!